UCLA Bruins Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the UCLA season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
UCLA Bruins Preview
Head Coach: Chip Kelly, 5th year at UCLA, 18-25
9th year overall, 64-32
2021 Preview: Overall: 8-4, Conference: 6-3
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
UCLA Top 10 Players | UCLA Schedule & Analysis
UCLA Bruins Preview 2022
You ready, UCLA?
Last year the Bruins finally broke through under Chip Kelly. After years of working through several rough patches, the result was a solid eight-win season that might have been nine if there weren’t COVID issues forcing the cancellation of the Holiday Bowl.
That was nice, but considering 2021 was when USC imploded, UCLA – even with the explosive win over its rival – should’ve done more.
With a down USC, the window was wide open in the Pac-12 South over the last several seasons. Arizona State didn’t blow up under Herm Edwards, Arizona spent the last few years finding itself, and Colorado sputtered around its good moments. It was Utah that took advantage with three conference championship appearances in the last four years, not UCLA.
And now there’s no South in a division-less Pac-12. It’s no longer good enough to be the best team in a six-team division; UCLA has to be one of the top two in the 12-team league.
Even worse, on a regular basis, one of those top two teams will probably be Lincoln Riley’s emerging juggernaut at USC, and Oregon will be right there.
But this is what UCLA has been building towards.
There might be a whole slew of big personnel losses from last year’s Bruin squad, but it’s got a great veteran quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson, good lines, surprising depth – considering the question marks with the starting 22 – a strong kicking game, a surprisingly favorable schedule, and reinforcements from a nice recruiting class to go along with some fantastic gets from the transfer portal.
And it’s almost like everyone has to be reminded that the head coach is Chip freaking Kelly.
The luster might be off after the struggles in the NFL and three straight losing seasons to start his run at UCLA, but as it turned out, this was far more of a rebuild than it appeared to be a few years ago.
Now there’s a whole lot to get fired up about.
It’s the hottest school going – close to 150,000 freshman applications this year – with elite academics, better weather, great campus, and football-wise, the style of offense finally in place to be a whole lot of fun to keep up with what everyone else is trying to do.
And it’s going to be in the Big Ten in 2024. The big school and program will only get bigger.
The pressure will be on USC to win right away with its shiny new head coach. The pressure will be on Oregon to win right away with its shiny new head coach. The pressure will be on Washington to win right away with its shiny new head coach. The pressure will be on Utah to win with its shiny terrific old head coach.
And if Kelly did this right to prepare the program over his first four years, UCLA should be ready to be one of those shiny teams deep in the mix for the Pac-12 Championship.